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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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Iraq 11, Obama 10, Romney 10, Virginia 10, Us 9, United States 6, U.s. 6, Syria 5, Libya 5, Cnn 5, Washington 3, Citi 3, Baghdad 2, D.c. 2, Philadelphia 2, Michael Gordon 2, Butler 2, Jeanne Moos 2, Lauren 2, Garth 2,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    September 29, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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"the situation room." certainly a critical voting block. military voters out there, both president obama and mitt romney, they are aggressively kourting them. jim acosta is traveling with a governor romney and he has a lot going on right now, jim? >> that's right, wolf. and mitt romney is out to make the case that the best defense is a better economy. >> in battle ground virginia both president obama and mitt romney pulled out the heavy artillery. romney slammed the president for the defense cuts coming at the end of the year. >> it is still a troubled and dangerous world and the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion over this decade
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is unthinkable. and devastating. and when i become president of the united states, we will stop it. i will not cut our commitment to our military. >> the president once again blasted romney's hidden camera comments on the 47% of americans he dubbed victims of government dependence. >> i don't think we can get very far with heed lookers who write-off half the nation as a bunch of victims who never take responsibility for their own lives. >> 47% people of the people -- >> the obama campaign turned romney's remarks into a devastating new ad playing the words under the faces of families and veterans. >> and they will vote for this president no matter what. so my job is not worry about those people. they should take personal responsibility. >> reporter: romney who has courted veterans two days in a
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row. he's seizing on new economic data. from 1.7% to 1.3. >> this is not just one quarter. this has been going on now for years. china is growing much faster than we, russia is growing faster than we. our economy needs to be reinvigorated. >> reporter: the labor department announced it undercounted nearly 400,000 jobs in 2011. meaning that 4.4 million jobs have been created since inauguration. but the president said there's still more work to do. >> we're not where we need to be. not yet. we've got a lot more folks who have to get back to work. we've got a lot more work to do to make the middle class secure again. but the question is, whose plan is better for you?
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>> an obama win in virginia could be deal romney a crushing blow. the president won here in 2008 becoming the first democrat to do so since johnson. football fans are everywhere so it's no surprise a reporter asked romney about the deal to end the dispute between the nfl and its referees. a question romney appeared to fumble. >> what do you think about the nfl? >> i sure hope they do. >> and romney finished his week by making a bold prediction at a fund raiser and at a separate event outside of philadelphia. he went on to say he would win the state of philadelphia even though our latest poll shows him down by 10 points. >> how is he preparing for the first presidential debate that's coming up wednesday night? >> well, the campaign says he'll be spending most of this weekend behind closed doors doing debate prep. as we know ohio senator has been
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his sparring partner and we heard the romney campaign starting to manage some expectations for the upcoming debate. earlier in the week i had a chance to talk with senior romney adviser about all this. he compared the president tho cy young to the baseball pitcher who is the standard for all pitchers across the major leagues. and you really don't set expectations any higher than your opponent than comparing your opponent to cy young. >> thanks very much. jim acosta traveling with mitt romney. president obama is trying to gain support what has traditionally been republican territory. what are you seeing? >> reporter: as you know, election day may be weeks away, but in virginia, ab sen tea voting is already under way and that is why you saw president obama and mitt romney treading on each other's turf this week.
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president obama heading to virginia beach as he tries to keep virginia out of reach for romney. >> reporter: in virginia beach, president obama tailored his latest attack on mitt romney to the military voters here as he hit his opponent for his recent comments that 37% of americans who don't pay income taxes see themselves as victims. >> i travel a lot around this country and i don't immediate meet a lot of victims. i see a lot of veterans who have served this country with bravery and distinction and i see soldiers who defend our freedom every single day and i see those military families who are wondering whether their loved ones are going to come back home safe and sound. that's who i see. >> reporter: active duty military and combat zones do not pay federal income tax and veterans do not pay income tax on their benefits, hammering
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that theme, jim webb a veteran and father. >> but in receiving veterans benefits, they are not takers. they are givers in the ultimate sense of the world. thank you. >> you might not be able to tell by the supportive crowd of thousands here, but this part of the state is not an obama stronghold. virginia beach and nearby norfolk with their concentration of military voters, lean conservative. president obama is trying to cut into romney's support here and a recent cnn poll of polls shows him ahead six points. the obama campaign launched this attack ad on thursday airing in virginia and a handful of other states and as early voting starts up in a number of states, the president framed his closing argument in a positive ad where he talks directly to the camera. >> it's time for a new economic
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patriotism, rooted in the believe that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. >> that is a message that president obama reiterated in virginia as he pushes a newly framed set of proposals. economic patriotism as he calls it, reducing oil imports and also giving tax breaks to companies that invest in the u.s. >> i assume the president is spending a lot of his time these days gettinged ready for that debate wednesday night. >> certainly in the big mush is the goin to be as he heads to nevada here in the next couple of days and will be preparing as you know his partner senator john kerry who will be filling the shoes in these mock proposals. the campaign doesn't want to talk a whole lot about the preparation. they don't really want a lot of process stories. and they really want to emphasize the fact that mitt romney has been spending time preparing as they try to set
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expectations very high for president obama's opponent. >> thank you. and we're counting down to the first debate once again, this coming wednesday. our complete coverage begins at 7 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. let's dig a little deeper right now with ron bron steen, the editorial director of the national journal. if you're looking at all the demographics right now, where are the major differences between these two candidates? >> what you're seeing to a surprising extent in the last several weeks is president obama essentially reassembling the coalition that eleked him in 2008. >> why is that surprising? >> in 2010, democrats suffered big erosion in key parts of that coalition and also saw turnout decline. what you've got are three essential elements, young people, he's back to over 60% in most polling.
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minorities, he won 80% of them in 2008. he's right around that number in most polling again. and college educated white voters, he one a majority and again he's right around that number or even vietly above in polling. mitt romney is depending primarily on blue color whites and older whites. he's doing fine with those voters but he's not cracking into deeply enough the central coalition. >> what about working class women. >> this is something really interesting. working class white women are not as democratic as is often assumed. the college educated white women, democrats have won them. but the working class usually lean republican. in 2008 obama only won 41% of them. as we look across the board in the battle ground states and i've been looking at different polls, obama ask moving up with
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these working class white woman in places like ohio, wisconsin, even florida he's moving up to around 50% of them. that makes the math almost impossible for mitt romney in those states and they are responding largely to the economic message, the bain arguments, the 47 arguments, medicare, taxes. that is where it seems to be doing damage to romney. >> you asked the question would you say you were better off than you were during the 2008 presidential election. 31% thought they were better off. 31% worse off. same, 34%. that same 34%, but how are they lining up? >> this is really interesting. this is the question that republicans want to center the election on. are you better off than you were four years ago. and not surprisingly among the roughly one-third who say they are better off, president obama is prerge dominantly, and the ones w say they're worse off mitt romney is winning 10-1.
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but what is striking to me, the remaining third, president obama is ahead substantially by almost 25 points, 57-34 i believe was the number. >> right. the question was finances has have not changed since 2008. >> so that means that romney is faring poorly on the choice. >> they're saying they're kind of ambivalent about obama's performance over the last four years, but among them president obama has a big lead and what it says is right now romney is only drawing voters who have a negatives vert ikt on obama's first four years. he's not winning enough of the people who have a mixed -- you have a sliver of voters who are not 100% satisfied with obama but right now clearly see him as a better bet than the next four than mitt romney and that is the challenge for him in the debate. >> we're still 40 days until the
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election but early voting is under way. what's the likely impact of this early voting even before the first debate? >> two things. first, it's a test of all of that money that president obama's campaign has sunk into organization. they have made unprecedented investments in trying to have this kind of reach out and touch people capacity. and early voting, particularly for democrats. as i mentioned. young people and minorities who are more irregular voters, having this extra time is important to be able to move them out. the other thing of course is if the race changes in october and you bank votes in september, they don't get unbanked. the fact that president obama is in a strong position puts him in the polls into a position to benefit by locking down those voters at this point. >> the new issue of the national journal defying gravity. quite a cover you've got here. >> from the great steve brodner. >> the numbers say obama should be losing, why isn't he.
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>> thanks for coming? an al qaeda hot spot inside libya. we're traveling to a town where extremists are in charge and on the rise. ♪ ♪
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there are growing concerns about the rise of extremist groups inside libya weeks after the attack that took the lives of the united states ambassador and three other americans. cnn's senior correspondent got an extraordinary amount of access this week to an area that could be considered a breeding ground for extremism inside the country. >> reporter: it may look like a sleepy beach front town. but it has a reputation as a home to extremist militia. they have allegedly left their bases but continue to haunt the streets. we tried to get access to one of these bases.
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saw a handful of gun men there and were told to leave. >> a pickup truck just swerved in front of us forcing us to stop. three men got out. i'm assuming about what it is that we're doing here and they seem quite agitated. >> one of our escorts was warned, that quote, since the extremists no longer controlled security, they couldn't ensure ours. they were advising us to leave town. in the market most eyed us wearily. residents say a general strike and demonstration forced the mill ligsias to abandon their bases. but this man tells us it is far from clear they will fade away. >> a man came to speak to us. he wanted to know that the majority of people here are sick and tired of being in the spotlight. because the minority, he says, is affiliated with al qaeda.
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a local journalist says radical islam has always had a place here. men from here fought in afghanistan and estimates are that more than 50 traveled to iraq to become suicide bombers. the highest number from any town outside of iraq. >> the city and its surroundings were sympathetic to these groups because they had a common enemy which was kadafi. >> from the onset of the revolution, it was the extremists that provided security. after liberation was announced, there was increasing pressure on kald in yemen and other places.
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alleged to have been sent here by al qaeda's leader. according to security sources, these militia have a common goal weakening and infiltrating libya's security apparatus. in benghazi there have been more than a dozen assassinations of former military officers. sources tell cnn that many of them were reportedly on a islamist hit list to eliminate qualified individuals that could pose a threat. kernel from the lyan army was recently kidnapped. he doesn't know by whom or exactly why. he got a call from a man who spoke as if he knew him and said he had urgent information to pass on. outside his home, in broad daylight, two masked man forced him into their car. when i got into the car, they put a black hood on my head and
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began seeing things like you're going to see, threatening me, he tells us. later he says he was forced to his knees and told to repent and renew his faith in islam. he thought he was going to die when the phone rang. i could hear someone say, he's alive. we haven't killed him yet. you could hear his voice, he recalls. and then he was free. the influence of these radical groups has emerged in the capital. last month they destroyed shrines including this one, right in the heart of tripoli. >> as the sha rien was being demolished, eyewitnesss say security forces facilitated the act by blocking off the street. the inster of the interior continues to investigate the charges while also averaging it cannot go after these groups
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claiming it wants to avoid shedding libyan blood. >> and that is the problem. the government is not currently strong enough to face down these groups and they always thrive amid weakness. meanwhile, syrian rebels are scoring new victories on the battlefield thanks possibly from the help to some ex-pats living here in the united states. we'll have a full report here in "the situation room." ♪ keys, keys, keys, keys, keys. ♪ well, he's not very handsome ♪ to look at [ sighs ] ♪ oh, he's shaggy ♪ and he eats like a hog [ male announcer ] the volkswagen jetta. available with advanced keyless technology. control everything from your pocket, purse, or wherever. that's the power of german engineering.
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. a stunning new death toll in syria this week. one opposition group reporting that it's now topping 30,000 people. rebels are gaining some ground thanks possibly from the help of some ex-pats living right here in the united states. brian todd has been investigating. >> this group based in the united states and canada is
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raising money to send directly to the rebels. that money is often used to buy weapons. because they're not being sent directly from this group, it is legal but this still raises concerns in washington. >> reporter: outgunned at the beginning, the rebels have gained strength taking the fight to. >> that's where you can actually identify where they conduct -- where they have a stronghold. >> the u.s. based arm of the syrian support groom, a nongovernmental group dedicated to helping the syrian rebels. >> why did you want to do this? >> i have a son and he's 18 months old. and i think that i saw too many images of what was going on there of two-year-olds that are, you know, white, pale and lifeless. >> on his group's website you
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can donate to the rebels. he says they've raised a couple hundred thousand dollars so far. it's all legal. sayers got the treasury department got the syrian support group to get a license. >> it's a way for the u.s. government to allow donated resources from america to get to the rebels without the government directly arming the rebels. ironically, brian sayers works to get those resources there from an office down the haul, which is just three blocks from the white house just beyond those trees. >> reporter: sayers is clear, his group is not directly supplying the rebels with weapons. he says the money goes to rebel commanders on the ground, people who they've vetted thoroughly who buy the weapons. they have to sign a proclamation
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of principles. cnn contributor tom says it's still dangerous. >> you almost end up wn interfast and furious program. and that's what we have in libya. >> but how do you know that these people are not just signing your proclamation just to get the weapons and then using it for nefarious purposes? >> we use third-party contacts on the ground. we use the family members, the contacts, all syrian american. >> they're also providing intelligence. they community with rebel commanders directly. >> the checkpoints. >> that was discussing how to get salaries and resources to get rebels to the syria. this is real time communication, aid and resources going directly to rebels on the ground from a private office in washington and a basement in toronto.
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contacted by cnn, the state department said it's not thrilled with the arrangement and officials there are saying further militaryizing is not something that the syrians want and could lead to greater loss of life. >> what about the concerns that these arms, they could be floating around after the fighting stops and who knows whose hands they'll get into. >> well, brian sayer says that unlike what happened in libya with everyone leaving, he says his group will not leave. their license is for two years. they will have people on the ground to help gather and decommission weapons. we'll have to see if that happens in reality. these places are a cot i can as you know. >> tanks very much. >> it's been nearly a near since the end of the iraq war for the united states. thousands of american lives were lost. a trillion dollars maybe more. was it all worth it? i'm going to ask the author of a brand new book entitled "the end
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it's been almost a year since the end of the costly contentious u.s. war in iraq. and the question remabs was it worth it? after the loss of nearly 45 hundred american troops and many more iraqi lives and the expenditure of more than $800 billion dollars. just what sort of iraq was the united states military leaving behind? michael gordon is joining us now. he's the coauthor of the new book entitled "the end game." so this is an amazing book. was it worth it. that whole many years of the war in iraq, the cost and blood and treasure. >> well, i think the question at this point is the war happened. the decision to invade was made.
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in 2002, 2003. the question is, what sort of relationship should the united states have with iraq now. how did the obama administration handle the end of the war and where do we go from here. >> those are all important questions, but the whole war was built on a faulty prim is that saddam had weapons of mass destruction. >> i think it's conceded that they didn't have weapons of mass destruction. >> i remember i was in kuwait on the eve of the war. i had a gas masks, they were really fed basically a lie, if you will. >> no, i don't agree. i think that the intelligence was poor and badly done, but i do think -- >> when i say a lie, i mean the sources who were providing that intelligence, these false iraqi sources who were claiming there was poisonous gas here, chemical weapons there, that was a lie.
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>> i was imbedded for that period and i remember general conway was ahead of the marine forces and they intercepted the code word blood which they thought was the use of chemical weapons. >> the american forces believed that they would face chemical weapons. i remember skud missiles coming in. they believed it. i'm just saying that the sources turned out to be rather poor and as a result the u.s. went to war. >> i agree. >> beyond that, the question remains now, look at what's happening in iraq right now. you've got a government, the opponents, they think he's becoming almost -- saddam-like in his power. is that going too far? >> well, there's certainly a lot of tensions in iraq now and there's growing concern that the prime minister is acting in an increasing authoritarian sort of way. his goal was to do more than
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extract forces from iraq. what he wanted to do and tried to do and was to create a partnership government, a power sharing in iraq. >> but that's been afailure. >> he attempt tod negotiate an agreement which would allow american forces to remain. for example, iraqi air space would not be a corridor for rainian air flights to syria. and he attempted to establish a footprint where american civilians would be in iraq to do police training. and that didn't really work out. >> it didn't work out for a variety of reasons. but what i see now is a government in baghdad increasingly aligned with a government in tehran. it's almost a nightmare scenario for the u.s. but tell me if you see that same nightmare scenario unfolding.
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>> i have a slightly different view. i think it's too much of a caricature to say that prime minister malaqi is a puppet. he is sensitive to iranian interests. he's conducting a bit of an independent policy, particularly in syria, wsh he appears to have concluded that the fall of bashar assad cuts against his own interests. so he is increasingly out of sorts with american policy in syria. which is an unfortunate outcome particularly after all that sacrifice. >> the u.s. has limited influence in iraq right now, but the hus has a huge embassy in baghdad with a limited amount of influence. the question we pose in the book is did it have to be that way. >> and what's the answer? >> the answer is no. the answer is that it certainly
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there are a lot of nationalist pressures in iraq and it would have been difficult to negotiate to keep maybe 5 thousand troops but the way the administration handled it, they came to it late, the president was not involved throughout the negotiations and i think there was ambivalence on the part of the white house. what you had in the american government was a division where the defense department and the state department very much wanted to retain some modest american forces in iraq. but in the white house they were much more sensitive to political considerations and they were more a.m. bifl event about it. >> the iraqis didn't want to give any remaining troops behind and as a result of the negotiations for the status forces agreement so they collapsed. >> it became the killer issue. and the question which the historians will have to untangle is did it need to be a killer issue or mate have be finessed. >> the question i'll end with, was this worth with, this whole
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nearly ten-year adventure in iraq. this is an amazing book. "the end game." michael gor dan is the coauthor. we go back a long time. thanks for writing it. president obama and the challenger mitt romney are prepping for their first one-on-one debate next week. so what can voters expect? if you ask the candidates they'll tell you not all that much. is that true? jack, you're a little boring. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me,
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>> with the first presidential debate only days away, both sides certainly playing the game of lowering expectations. president obama's people point to all the debates mitt romney did during the primaries as well
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as his recent practice sessions. >> you know, i'll say mitt romney has a bit more practice than the president. he's done a lot of them recently. so, you know, we'll wait to see. >> are you nervous. >> he's a much better debater. >> who? >> mitt romney. >> that was the press sector the obama campaign insisting that mitt romney is a much better debater. a thursday memo shows romney campaign senior adviser playing the same game and i'm quoting her now when she says president obama is a uniquely gifted speaker and is widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history. this will be the eighth one h onone presidential debate of his political career for mitt romney, it will be his first. and listen to what romney himself tells abc news. >> i don't worry about the opportunity to be on the air and to face the president. he has his views. i have mine. >> all right.
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so just how influential are these debates for the voters out there? joining us now two journalists from the website daily download.com lauren and howard kurts. we shouldn't be surprised that both sides lowering expectations, right? >> give me a break. this is such a transparent game. each side saying well, the other guy we can't decide whether he's lincoln or douglas. but they're also tapping into a game that the media play, as soon as it's over, they're going to come out and say romney either beat or failed to beat expectations. >> i don't think it's all that important. the media's analysis of these debates. i think people at home don't need the gas bags to tell them what to think. i think think can think what they think about the debates. >> and they will watch closely and the gas bags will then
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reacts. >> i'm going to disagree with you disagreeing with me. because after the first presidential debate in 2000, initially it was report d as a straight debate what each candidate said. the media spent a week dissecting goer's body language. that changed perception of the debate. they get a lot of help from people on our side of the camera as to what to think. >> for all the men out there, i'm going to bring in a sports analogy. i don't follow baseball and some people do. i wait until the end to see who's playing in the world series. the same with politics. a lot of people don't follow politics 24/7 lieblg we do, believe it or not. and they are going to come in a lot later than the first debate. so their analysis of what's happening is going to come much closer to the actual election day. >> the little things like al gore's sighs which got a lot of attention and george h.w. bush looking at his watch.
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listen to newt gingrich because he had some advice. let me play the clip. >> if he would be as direct, as assertive, as firm with barack obama as he was with me in florida, he'll win the debate going away. and within three days of winning that debate the polls will change dramatically because he'll have begun to make the case that we cannot afford four more years of barack obama. >> he's got some experience. mitt romney beat him so he knows what he's talking about. >> he got creamed in the debates. >> you don't think his advice is any good? >> gingrich trying to be the party soldier for mitt romney. the polls are not going to dramatically change ter the debate. we play a roll here. we in the media build things up do or die. and certainly with 40 days to go these are crucial opportunities for mitt romney.
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but most of them tend to be a muddle. each side makes its points, we all analize it. they are not the dramatic game changers that either side might hope for. >> i'll disagree with you because i think when it comes to that 5 or 6 or 7% undecided voters out there in ohio or virginia or florida, thee debates i think will convince them to make up their mind one way or another. i agree for most americans they've made up their minds already. but for the undecided or the switchables. the debates will be critical. >> do you think they can move them in dramatic fashion? >> i don't know dramatic. >> it only takes a point or two. >> >> right now voting is going on already. >> these are people who have already made up their minds. >> right. >> there's a 5% or 6% or 7% group out there they're addressing with these debates and i think they'll be very important. >> i disagree. >> thanks for coming in. howie is going to have reliable
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anyone who's visited washington, d.c., has probably seen the reflecting pool on the national mall. the government just spent millions repairing it, but guess what -- already there's a big problem. our lisa sylvester's here, taking a closer look. a little weird out there. >> yeah. it is. a little icky to say the least. that renovation is completed. they fixed cracks and leaks in the foundation. now there is a new problem. let's just say this is a problem
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that you just can't miss. there's plenty to take pictures of in downtown washington, d.c. the lincoln memorial, world war ii memorial, and then this -- folks snapping photos of the reflecting pool. >> it's sludgy at this end. >> reporter: and what's in it. >> it's disgusting. it's not right. >> reporter: algae. >> smells like wet dog. when my dog came home from the stream, he smelled like this. it's grot aep's gross. >> reporter: the reflecting pool reopening after a $34 million renovation that lasted nearly two years. less than a month later, the famous pool of water is full of algae. algae are simple organisms that thrive in areas where there is heat and sunlight. you have plenty of that here. the water may not look great, but it doesn't pose a health or safety hazard. it's really just the yuck factor. >> if it's sunny, if it's really warm, tell rise to the top. so on some days depending on the
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weather, you will see algae at the top. and if it looks like -- they look like small islands of algae. >> reporter: why has algae sudden bly become a problem? the reflecting pool fixed cracks and leaks but it installed a system to draw water into the pool instead of using city drinking water. algae naturally grows in the tidal basin. plus, the renovated pool hold less water. that shallow depth is a perfect condition for algae to grow. a bit of an embarrassment for the park service. >> it's a shame that they hadn't planned this out better so you wouldn't have algae growing after all this time and money. >> reporter: for the national parks service, it's cleanup time. >> the filtering system is taking out a lot of it. but there is, as i said, we were surprised by the magnitude of the algae. so we're going to have to actually manually remove some of the algae. >> reporter: the park service won't use chemicals because the reflecting pool water can flow back into the tidal basin.
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a parks spokeswoman says they're adjusting the ozone levels to correct the problem. in the meantime, the reflecting pool is not reflecting -- >> nasty. >> reporter: much of anything. >> okay. so did the parks service anticipate this problem? there is a filtering system, but they didn't expect the algae to grow like crazy. the filtering system just hasn't been able to keep up. the weather is starting to cool off, and that should buy park officials a little bit more time to try to troubleshoot it, to figure it out andtincer with some of the ozone -- and tinker with some the ozone levels. >> thank you. when we come back, what one reporter did that got him a good on-the-job soaking. [ laughing ] [ laughing ] [ laughing ]
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[ laughing ] ♪
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in afghanistan, residents of the hillside neighborhood stand by a water collection. in india, a rhinoceros walks through the forest searching for food. in uruguay, children gather around a sea turtle before it's released into the water. in ukraine, a fighter jet flies below a military plane exercise. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. all a miami tv reporter
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wanted was to ask a couple of questions. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: please don't water the reporter. >> i'm sorry to bother you, i'm michael putnam with -- >> reporter: wplg's senior political reporter was trying to get a comment from a former candidate reportedly under investigation for campaign improprieties when the man's wife doused michael putney. the miami tv veteran responded the way any red-blooded reporter did -- >> i hope you were rolling. >> oh, yeah, we were. >> reporter: then went on to deliver his standup. >> reporter: we are all wet. >> reporter: maybe the reporter should have approached the door wearing goggles because the writing was on the wall. no comment, the sign on the door read, directing questions to an attorney. trespassers will be wet! you have been warned! >> thankfully that was cool tap water. it was kind of refreshing. >> reporter: sure beats the
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steaming, hot water a bikini barista threw at a flasher who kept driving through the java girls drive-thru. water landed -- >> on his face and chest. he said, ooh, yeah. >> reporter: politicians on a romanian talk show seemed less titillated when water flew after they called each other a bidet. convicted murderer joran van der sloot once threw wine on a crime reporter. tom cruise got squirted by british tv pranksters using a fake mike. >> you're a jerk. >> reporter: we in the press are -- that's no reason to squirt with us bug spray -- bug spray! at least the guy leaving a connecticut courtroom shook the cam -- >> i got it, i got it. >> reporter: before he let a wtic camera did man have it with hornet and wasp spray. but what really stings isn't getting doused with water -- >> stop that [ bleep ] camera right now! >> reporter: as the tv crew was.
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it's getting whacked with the empty bottle. >> that's not appropriate. >> i don't give a [ bleep ]. >> reporter: that's no way to recycle. >> stop it! >> reporter: jeanne moos -- >> thank you, bye-bye. >> son of a [ bleep ] -- >> reporter: cnn, new york. >> thank you. remember, you can always follow what's going on in "the situation room" on twitter. tweet me, @wolfblitzer. thank you very much for joining me. the news continues next on cnn. are you in the cnn newsroom. great to see you, i'm susan hendricks in for don lemon today. want to get you up to speed on the day's headlines now. the pope's former butler went on trial today in a vatican courtroom that is off limits to tourists. he is accused of stealing secret papers from pope benedict xvi and leaking them to an italian journalist. the court denied a motion to strike some of the evidence including a gold nugget found in his apartment. the butler faces a sentence of up to eight years in